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Three arrested in alleged odometer rollback scheme involving over 50 vehicles

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Scituate, R.I. – The Rhode Island State Police Friday announced that detectives from the Major Crimes Unit arrested three individuals for Tampering with Odometers, False Statement to Fraudulently Obtain a Registration, Forgery and Counterfeiting, Access to a Computer for Fraudulent Purpose, Obtaining Property by False Pretenses and Conspiracy.

The arrests stemmed from an initial complaint filed at the RIDMV regarding a discrepancy identified on vehicle registration documents. A review of the documents, including vehicle title, registration application and supporting records, identified that the odometer reading had been altered on both the documents and the actual vehicle. The review additionally identified that the vehicle was sold by Pablo Beato, age 49 of Providence, under the guise of being a licensed used car dealer. Beato nor any business associated with him is licensed in Rhode Island to sell vehicles. Beato owns and operates P.B. Auto Repair and & Imports LLC at 600 Cranston Street and 45 Anthony Avenue in Providence.

The investigation identified over 50 vehicles that were advertised for sale on Facebook Marketplace and sold by Beato, Bersania Bencosme, age 34 of Providence and Eddy Bencosme Diaz, 21, of Providence from both Kenwood Street and Cranston Street. The vehicles were registered in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut that had rolled back odometers and fraudulent registration paperwork.

As a result of this investigation, 17 vehicles were seized from Beato’s residence and business.

All three individuals were arraigned by a Justice of the Peace at State Police Headquarters. Beato was released on $5000.00 surety bail. Bencosme and Diaz were released on $1000.00 personal recognizance. Their next court appearance is scheduled for August 12, 2021. Jeffrey Q. Morin and John M. Moreira from the Office of Attorney General are handling the ongoing prosecution of this case.

A person found guilty of Tampering with Odometers shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or one dollar for each mile representing the difference between the actual mileage driven and the mileage as represented on the vehicle at the time of sale.
A person found guilty of False statement to fraudulently obtain license or registration shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both. A person found guilty of Forgery and counterfeiting in general shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than ten years, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both. A person found guilty of Access to computer for fraudulent purposes shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both. A person found guilty of Obtaining property by false pretenses or personation shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, If the value exceeds five thousand dollars but is less than ten thousand dollars, by imprisonment for not more than six years or by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars, or both. A person found guilty of Conspiracy shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, subject to the same fine and imprisonment as pertain to the offense which the person shall have conspired to commit, provided that imprisonment for the conspiracy shall not exceed ten years.

Anyone who may have any information regarding the purchase of a vehicle related to this investigation may contact Detective Stephen Brown at 401-462-5744.

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